Nature throws one-two punch at global warming

Sun, 2008-04-20 12:48Bill Miller
Bill Miller's picture

Nature throws one-two punch at global warming

The Nature article says the climate problem is much greater than forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change due to rising use of coal in Asian nations, especially China and India, where energy use is projected to double by 2030.

If an exploding population is to have sufficient energy for development, the world’s energy supply will have to at least double in 50 years even if consumption in China, India and elsewhere never rises to the per-capita level seen today in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

At the same time, if the climate is to be stabilized, carbon emissions must fall sharply from current levels. To satisfy both requirements, energy generated without emission of fossil-fuel carbon will have to increase ten fold.

“We’ve gotten this hopelessly wrong,” said Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado at Boulder, one of the authors of the Nature article. The trio also included Tom Wigley of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research and Economics professor Christopher Green of McGill University in Montreal.

“If we approach this from reducing emissions we get nowhere,” Pielke said. “The message is, let’s change light bulbs and let’s be more efficient. But let’s do more than that. The solution lies in transformational technologies.”

Unfortunately, U.S. spending on energy research has shrunk by approximately half since 1979, taking inflation into account. Spending on military research, meanwhile, has more than doubled and now amounts to roughly 20 times what is spent on energy research.

Previous Comments

The issue isn’t so much about the science put forward itself, it’s the rhetoric.

Pielke is basically saying that global warming is SO BAD, that we can’t do anything about it.

And the only thing we can do is sit on our asses and wait for some super duluexe “breakthrough technology” to geoengineer the planet back to normal.

http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/3/19/154821/536
http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/3/28/164544/751
http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/3/31/16180/8732
http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/4/2/113935/7879
http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/4/2/1825/47971
http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/4/7/11215/62058
http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/4/14/164816/695

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It’s the predictable next step along the denialist stonewall approach.

1. It’s not happening!
-So lets not deploy current technology, shape policy, or build markets.

2. It is happening, but it’s not us doing it!
-So lets not deploy current technology, shape policy, or build markets.

3. It is happening, we are doing it, but maybe warming is a good thing!
-So lets not deploy current technology, shape policy, or build markets.

4. It is happening, we are doing it, warming very Very VERY bad thing, so bad infact that:
-So lets not deploy current technology, shape policy, or build markets. *Lets instead focus on adaptation.*

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The rhetorical argument may change, but the bottomline position always stays the same.

Here are some simple facts: a lot of stuff has to happen to fight AGW; right now, very few resources are being applied to actually do that stuff; to enable a future in which all that stuff can occur we need to start doing something. Every molecule of CO2 that is not liberated to the atmosphere is one less to heat the planet, one less to acidify the ocean, one less to have to remove or mitigate against. Every CO2 molecule that is not liberated to the atmosphere now represents some more time for technological discovery.
There is a lot of inertia in the system. With respect to the political inertia, pointing to some arbitrary value of bad consequences and then forecasting bad odds to avoid those consequences only feeds that inertia. Certainly we need technological advances. Everybody can help to buy time for those advances by doing simple things now. An analysis of the simple facts does not yield the downer that cynics want everyone else to feel. Are you one of those cynics?

Well since this whole human induced global weather change is a scam and an attempt to get into our collective wallets maybe these people trying to foist off this scam should at the very least be hauled into civil court…

Dr Martin Keeley, Geologist, and a Visiting Professor at University College London says: “Those of us who study the pre-human history of the Earth find the current debate over global warming difficult to fathom. Climate changes - this is what it does.

To expect permanent stability in climate patterns displays a fundamental lack of understanding of the complexity and instability of weather.

If the global climate were not getting warmer, it would be getting cooler; stasis is not an option.” (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4066189.stm)

Weather Channel founder John Coleman says: “[I] have a feeling this is the opening,” Coleman said. “If the lawyers will take the case – sue the people who sell carbon credits. That includes Al Gore. That lawsuit would get so much publicity, so much media attention. And as the experts went to the witness stand and testified, I feel like that could become the vehicle to finally put some light on the fraud of global warming.” (http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2008/20080303175301.aspx)

“The author, Dr Martin Keeley, is Visiting Professor in Petroleum Geology”
Lol.
Also not even the American Association of Petroleum Geologists agree with him.
http://greyfalcon.net/whatwouldittake

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And what makes you think John Coleman knows anything about climate science?
http://climateprogress.org/2007/11/14/are-meteorologists-climate-experts/

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Have either of these guys ever published anything in a peer reviewed physical science journal relevant on global climate science?

Or are they making opinions about issues outside of their specific field, with nothing solid to back themselves up?

Because unless they actually do have the relevant background, you can’t really trust their analysis. (They can certainly repeat other’s analysis, but making their own is completely suspect.)

Offering up views like this is dangerous in this Desmog forum. The echo chamber denizens of this web site are programmed only to handle what comes from Al Gore and David Suzuki. The attempt to process contrary information may cause their brains to overheat and explode.

Never heard either of them talk, nor I have I seen the movie, but I do read academic literature. And there in is the source of good scientific information, not blogs, think tank web sites etc.

Reading a broad range journals/papers with a range of opinion might be a little much for you eh?

Global warming could lead to higher rates of skin cancer by amplifying the harmful effects of the sun’s rays, scientists said.

New evidence suggests that the same amount of sunshine becomes more likely to trigger cancer as temperature rises.

EVERYTHING is caused by Glo_BULL warming!

Here is absolute undiniable proof. http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

The Nature piece is a “Commentary”

It’s not an article
It’s not a letter.

It’s not peer reviewed work.

Call it what it is, please.

The Nature piece is a “Commentary”

It’s not an article
It’s not a letter.

It’s not peer reviewed work.

Call it what it is, please.

[x]

In less than a decade, climate change-induced sea level rise could force thousands of people to migrate from some small island developing states (SIDS), according to the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program.

The world’s 52 small island developing states (SIDS) increasingly share sea level rise and other escalating environmental threats that are further aggravated by economic insecurities, Achim Steiner added.

What makes this situation even more grievous is that the climate...

read more